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Tuesday 27 February 2018


Forty-Eight Special and Iron 1200

Harley-Davidson has added two more Sportsters to its line-up - if we are counting correctly, that takes their 100 in 10 years “high impact” new model blitz to 16 now?
The Forty-Eight Special and Iron 1200 Sportsters are said to “fuse throw-back design with modern performance,” with “high handlebars, cool graphics and garage-built attitude.”
The company says that the new designs “began with inspiration from our customers – reflecting what is happening in customization on the streets. Each motorcycle features a powerful 1200cc engine and brings back a sense of 70s soul that only H-D can bring.
“Since its introduction in 1957, Sportster motorcycles have been repeatedly reimagined in the hands of both the Motor Company and bike owners: the Sportster as a bobber, a chopper, a scrambler and a cafe racer; as a hero on flat tracks and drag strips and road-race courses; as an accessible entry-point for first-time riders; and as a custom-of-one cruiser. 

Forty-Eight Special

“Since its inception, the Sportster has offered the perfect combination of size, power and character that makes it appealing to so many different riders,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson V.P. of Styling & Design. “A Sportster is a relatively easy bike to strip down and reinvent. What we’ve done to create the new Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special is what Sportster owners have been doing with their own bikes for generations.”
New fuel tank graphics “combine bold color stripes with a formal typeface, color and graphic elements originally popular in the 1970s.
“The art on these two [3.3 U.S. gallon] fuel tanks reflect contemporary trends we are seeing on custom bikes and in design in general, a move away from more complex and intricate art to a look that’s very simple and clean,” said Richards. “It’s also important to note that these graphics respect the shape of the fuel tank and in the case of the Sportster, that tank shape is a classic design element in its own right.”
Described as an “Urban Brawler,” the Iron 1200 has a satin-black Mini Ape handlebar that Harley say is “an essential element of the garage-built chopper look that adds instant attitude and gives the rider a fists-in-the-wind posture. The gloss black speed screen framing the headlamp amplifies the attitude of the tall bars and is intended to offer some wind deflection at speed and provides a space for easy personalization.
“The fast-back Cafe solo seat flows to the rear fender and is shaped to help hold the rider in position when the torque of the Evolution 1200 kicks in. Finished with all-black 9-spoke wheels and a solid black belt guard and rear sprocket, the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System and anti-lock braking system (ABS) are factory-installed options for the Iron 1200 model.

Iron 1200

Meanwhile, the “burly front end of the Forty-Eight Special – a wide front tire framed by fat forks – looks especially menacing when topped with a gloss-black Tallboy handlebar.
“We specifically selected the Tallboy bar for its shape,” said Richards. “It offers less pull-back than the Mini-Ape, a look that really works with the steamroller front end and the smaller fuel tank on the Forty-Eight Special model.”
Harley say that “the 2.2-gallon “peanut” Sportster fuel tank features rows of bold, horizontal stripes framing a simple Harley-Davidson text logo. The Evolution 1200 engine features a black top end over an expanse of brilliant chrome covers, plus chrome muffler and exhaust shields. Chrome lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet covers contrast with the black cylinders to highlight the V-Twin engine shape.
“High-performance Michelin Scorcher 31 tires front and rear are mounted on black split 9-spoke cast aluminum wheels. The Harley-Davidson Smart Security System and anti-lock braking system (ABS) are factory-installed options for the Forty-Eight Special model.”

Carl’s Speed Shop

Daytona Bike Week will see Carl and Diane Morrow finally retiring

Carl Morrow, 80, and his wife of 54 years Diane, have decided to retire after over 50 years building high-performance engines for street use and racing. 

Based at 384 North Beach Street, Dayton Beach, Florida, Carl’s Speed Shop has been a popular Bike Week fixture and an internationally renowned ‘go to’ for petrol heads of all kinds. Now though, Carl and Diane have announced that they will retire on March 9th 2018, the opening day of Daytona Bike Week, with the building and everything in it available for sale.
“It is time to sell and move on”, said Diane. “Ideally, we would like to sell our business as a going concern, but we just have to find the right buyer, and that is not so easy these days. We have so much stuff here, so we have decided that we will sell it all at our RETIREMENT SALE during Bike Week.”

A disciple of “reliable, real-world performance” since opening the doors in 1969, Carl's Speed Shop has become known for records set, exploits on the Drag Strip and Bonneville Salt Flats, and an approach to reliable, useable horsepower that translates to high performance Harley street bikes.
Well known for his 2” (50.8mm) constant velocity Typhoon slide carburetor design (as equally at home on a 1200cc Sportster as it is on a 131” Big Twin), Carl and his son Doug have been cranking out some of the best regarded custom builds, Dyno tuning, engine repairs and upgrades, performance parts, cams, heads and valves in America for decades.
Carl’s first shop was in Big Daddy Roth’s shop at Maywood, California, where he rented space for $50.00 a month. He then moved to Whittier, California, next door to Whittier Harley-Davidson, and also taught Motorcycle Mechanics for high school students; Carl has a teaching credential from U.C. LA.
Early collaborations included with Mel Magnet of Rivera Primo fame, with both men pioneering the use of Jaguar SU carburetors on Harleys. Carl’s dream was to invent a carburettor, and the result was the still popular Typhoon.

Moscow Custom & Tuning Show

Moscow Custom & Tuning Show moves to Olympic Stadium March 16 - 18

The popular Moscow Custom & Tuning Show is on the move again, driven by show growth, this time to no less a facility than the central Moscow Olympic Stadium, venue for the 1980 Olympics.

Said to give the joint MotoSpring and Moscow Custom & Tuning Show access to up to twice the space of prior venues, “this is the biggest and the coolest place to stage a motorcycle event in Moscow,” says organizer Dmitry Khitrov.

“Alongside this, our 12th annual custom show and industry exhibition we will stage an indoor freestyle show with some of the best Russian and European jumpers.”

The winning bike from 2017 was a 1987 JAWA 500, a built by Dmitry Golubchikov of Zillers Garage workshop, again showcasing the high standards of innovation and craftsmanship we have come to expect from the Custom & Tuning show

The ‘Moscow Show’ regularly provides high class entrants for the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building (at INTERMOT Customized, October 2018) with creativity, innovation and standards of craftsmanship that are among the best in the world.

MAG Connection

Arnott suspension handlebar inflation switch

The Arnott True On-Board air suspension program is available to dealers in Europe through France based purchasing portal provider, distribution, buying consortium and vendor representation specialist MAG Connection.

In addition to award-winning twin Fox nitrogen charged shock air suspension kits for most popular models of Harley and other makes, the Arnott system includes this ergonomic two-button handlebar mounted switch.
The digital display enables the rider to quickly adjust the Arnott air shocks and see the pressure value in pounds per square inch (PSI). The waterproof assembly mounts to the handlebar clutch perch and has separate buttons to inflate or deflate the system and a blue LED air pressure display. 

The inflation kit comes complete with a high-impact aluminum housing finished in black type III hard anodization, which is completely sealed off from outside elements. The black switch includes an attached wiring harness, pre-configured with the necessary connectors. The kit also includes a pressure transducer which attaches to the Arnott manifold, additional tubing, airline fittings, spade connectors and wire taps for connecting the unit to the ignition switch wire. Also available in chrome.


Custom Dynamics

Patent pending combination headlights

These patent pending BCN compliant 5.75” LED headlamps from Youngsville, North Carolina based specialist Custom Dynamics have a built-in 6000K DRL wing and halo and combine reflector and projector type LEDs for optimal performance.

They are DOT/SAE compliant and feature built-in auxiliary turn signals and a robust polycarbonate lens, and have a 31.2 watt low beam with 28.8 watt high beam. Available through Drag Specialties in chrome or black for all ’15-’18 FLTRX/FLTRU models.


Kibblewhite Precision Machining

High chrome valve seats

Californian valvetrain specialist Kibblewhite Precision Machining has added a newly engineered line of high chrome (HC) valve seats, which have 18-22 percent chromium content for increased resistance to abrasion, corrosion and deformation. 

Additionally, a 1-2 percent nickel content adds toughness and further corrosion resistance. They can be easily machined and form a continuous chip, which is quite different to what can be expected from powder metal.  All HC seats are ground to exacting tolerances and designed to be used in universal applications.
Founded in 1939 by present CEO Will Kibblewhite’s father, the Pacifica, California based business is noted for the exacting tolerances of its precision machining techniques and investment in advanced materials research and emerging technologies.
Employing some 26 people and operating from 20,000 sq ft of machine shop, offices, engineering departments and warehouse space, KPMI is noted for the custom valvetrain solutions it offers and use of their products in some of the most demanding motorsport race conditions.


Sport Chrome

The ‘Reinforcer’ - an economic 21” replacement for stock front wheels

Westminster, California based specialist Sport Chrome is selling a limited edition 21” front wheel design, the “Reinforcer” for any late model Harley Touring model motorcycle, such as the Street Glide and Road Glide. 

Aimed at those seeking a custom look, Sport Chrome Jon Reed says that “it has also been designed to allow the customizer to optimize the factory equipped braking system – reducing the extra costs for those who don’t have the budget to additionally replace the stock front brake rotors.
“Made specifically for, but not exclusively for, all 2014 and up Street Glide and Road Glide models, the Reinforcer immediately gives the bike that sought-after stance of a 21” front wheel. Important considerations for the Reinforcer were to make sure that all the key areas are precision fitted and that there is no excess material used in any area of the wheel – in order to keep the Reinforcer lightweight.
“In an effort to improve the quality and scope of their distribution, the manufacturer of the Reinforcer chose to align with Sport Chrome because of our network of the finest dealers in the USA, and also because we are able to place every single Reinforcer wheel through the refined wheel inspection process that has been our hallmark for some 17-years. During this time, we have developed a rigorous and precise procedure for inspecting the more than 25,000 wheels that have come through our doors for processing, many of which were manufactured in the same factory that is now making the Reinforcer.” 

Sport Chrome has been providing “the highest quality products and plating services to Authorized Dealers in the USA for over 15 years. We are known for our extremely high standards of quality and customer service, both of which are guaranteed by our Lifetime Warranty on any product we finish and sell.”
Available in Chrome, Gloss Black and Black/Machined finishes, the 21” Reinforcer wheel is in stock and ready for immediate purchase.



Compu-Fire 3-phase charging systems

Compu-Fire say their 40 amp 3-phase charging systems provide 25 amps at idle and 40 amps continuously above 2,800 rpm. 

The company states that their precision-balanced, vented rotor keeps the stator cooler in closed primary systems to maintain maximum output under all high current draw conditions.
The large flanged seal spacer provides maximum support for the rotor and the voltage regulator output is calibrated to 14.25 volts from idle on up; fits Harleys from 1990 to 2006 (except 2006 Dynas).


Heartland USA

One-piece weatherproof billet ‘Tears’

Now under the ownership of experienced industry veteran and former company VP Sales Lonny Spiva, these new billet ‘Tears’ from Heartland USA feature “a combination of classic and contemporary styling to produce an exclusive Art Deco appearance.”

Machined from a solid block of billet aluminum, the one-piece lights are weatherproof and fully wired, with a distinctive lens assembly which remains clear until illuminated with amber or red LEDs.
Billet ‘Tears’ come in chrome, gloss black, black wrinkle and satin gray and have recently been released in a high-contrast TuxCut. Available in 2 sizes: medium 1-1/2” lens x 4-3/8” long, and small 1” lens x 3-3/8” long.


Handy Industries

Handy lift redesigns prove to be “a boon”

Last winter the Handy Lifts division of Sully, Iowa based manufacturer Janco Industries updated the design of its market-leading Standard and S.A.M. 1200 Air Lift tables with maintenance-free air bellows replacing the existing air cylinder.

Since then the response to the changes has been “excellent” said CEO Joel Jansen when AMD met with him at the recent Columbus, Ohio, AIMExpo.
“The new safety features have also been well received. The new design not only simplifies the way service departments perform maintenance, it also simplifies the way we are able to produce them – meaning improved ergonomics and efficiencies for our customers.
The redesigned Standard and S.A.M. lifts have an automatic ratcheting safety mechanism with dual springs that create a positive lock as the lift is raised. The safety mechanism is easily flipped back to lower the lift and automatically resets once the lift reaches the bottom. 

“With the automatic reset, there is no more worrying about the operator having to remember to set the safety bar,” says Joel.
The capacity on both the Standard and S.A.M. has been boosted from 1000 lbs. to 1200 lbs., and the maximum lifting height has been raised on both lifts. The Standard 1200 Air Lift features a table top work surface of 80” x 24”, a maximum height of 39” and a minimum height of 8”.
The S.A.M. 1200 Air Lift features an 84” x 24” work surface with a maximum height of 39” and minimum height of 8”. “The S.A.M. also features the same rear drop-out panel Handy customers loved on the original S.A.M. lift, and the extra 1” of height may not sound like a big deal to those who don’t work on bikes all day, but for those who do, they tell us it has been a boon.”
The same range of accessories offered for the original 1000 lb lifts can still be used on the new 1200s, such as the side extensions, a CV-17 Cycle Vise and the rear extension.


Monday 19 February 2018

Biker’s Choice

Biker’s Choice unveiled 2018 V-twin catalog at Dealer and Brand Expo

At 2018 pages, the new 2018 V-twin catalog includes many vendors and brands making their first catalog appearance for Biker’s Choice – including Brass Balls Cycles, Lyndall Brakes, Mac Performance, Memphis Shades, Two Brothers Racing and VP Oils & Racing Fuels.

MAG brands are also included, such as RSD, Burley, PM, Vance & Hines, Mustang and Kuryakyn, including their recently beefed up XKursion luggage line, plus apparel from Black Brand, Speed & Strength and Roland Sands.
Established market leaders in the catalog include the likes of S&S Cycle, Cobra USA, Andrews cams, Kibblewhite valvetrain system products, Avon Tyres, Barnett Tool & Engineering, BDL, James Gaskets, JIMS, Le Pera seats, Arlen Ness, National Cycle, TBR, Wiseco, Maxima, Drift, Galfer and DynaTek.

Vity’s Design

Modular brass and aluminum headlight, taillight, turn signal collection

Designed and made in Italy, Vity’s Design continues to expand its range. These Vity’s ‘Juicer Collection’ headlights, taillights and signals are available in Europe through France based purchasing portal provider, distribution, buying consortium and vendor representation specialist MAG Connection.

Noted for their top end design and precision manufacturing, Vity’s is the brainchild of Matteo Vitali, who had his first bike (a mini-crosser) when he was just 6 years old, and who fell under the spell of the Bar & Shield while on a trip to San Francisco in 2010, buying his first Harley, a Sportster, a year later when he was back in Italy.
Based at Fermo, between Ancona and Pescara on Italy’s Adriatic coast, Matteo is a formally trained and qualified machinist and started making his first motorcycle parts on the lathes and mills in the family engineering business in 2000. When he completed his qualifications and went to work full-time in the business in 2005, and following his surrender to the appeal of Milwaukee’s finest, started Vity’s Design in 2012.

Proving that there is always a market for quality and great design, the Vity’s line-up has grown quickly since then and includes handlebar controls, foot controls, pegs, forward controls, mirrors, covers, gas caps, air cleaners, lights and more. Three primary ranges are offered – the ‘Vity’s Collection’, the ‘Diamond Bagger’ collection, and a ‘24kt Gold’ collection – all with the emphasis on stylish, contemporary interpretations of retro chic and on precision fit and finish.
“The design can be based on a shape as simple as a traditional fruit juicer – sometimes simplicity is the most sophisticated design choice you can make, and using tireless, familiar, long established motifs can help a design appear genuinely and authentically retro,” Matteo says.

As with the velocity stacks we showcased previously, the approach is modular, so a wide variety and combination of looks can be created.
“Every custom motorbike is different from the other,” Matteo went on to say. “The headlight in a motorcycle is one of the most important components – you just can't avoid it. Most headlights for Harleys and custom bikes are just functional. Sure, quality, durability and safety are important, but there is no reason why a little creativity can’t be applied to add the fourth virtue of style.
“This new collection does that – quality, safety, durability and style in a modular system that allows dealers and builders to create a variety of options for their customers. All parts are CNC-machined from quality aluminum and brass; matching air cleaner also available.”


W&W Cycles

W&W: “Go Fast, Go West” for 2018

The W&W Cycles catalog is always a highlight from the W├╝rzburg, Germany based distributor, and never short of adventurous spirit and creativity, this year said that “our 2018 motto is ‘Go West!’ Our constant urge to go riding and explore new roads saw Paul and our 1915 Model 11F undertaking an epic jaunt across the USA with the Motorcycle Cannonball. 

“We shipped two specially built bikes, a Pan and a Knucklehead, to the States, to follow in the tracks of steam trains, wagon trails and wild horses in the wide-open spaces of North America.
“Wrenching on your Harley is the last frontier of motorcycle tuning and customizing, and our all-new 2018 catalog shows the trail to endless horizons of boss hardware to turn your hoss into the best Harley the world has ever seen.
“With more than 1,100 pages, featuring over 20,000 broncin’ parts, we rounded up herds of pictures from the old times and everything but the beans for maintenance, restoration, customizing, tuning and hopping up your ride, plus some stylish apparel for when yer riding to town.”

Lowbrow Customs

Classic louvered air cleaner

The popular louver style air cleaner has traditionally graced Hot Rods using Holley 94s and Stromberg 97 carburetors, but with the new backing plates made by Lowbrow Customs, you can install and run “one of these inexpensive, cool air cleaners on your Harley-Davidson with ease,” says Tyler Malinky.

These Lowbrow louvered air cleaner kits in chrome or black come complete with a washable paper filter, stainless steel allen head hardware and mounting gasket. They are available for CV carburetors and EFI throttle bodies as found on Harley-Davidson Sportsters from 1991-2015, Big Twins ‘93-‘06 and FXD Dyna from ‘04-‘15. 

A kit is also available for S&S Super E and G carburetors. The USA-made backing plates are of 1/4 inch thick steel, powder-coated black. “This well engineered kit contains everything you need and installs in minutes. Our louvered air cleaner install video has step-by-step instructions on installing this kit on a Sportster, including a list of all tools needed.”


Drag Specialties

Le Pera seat options for Tourers with the Ness winged gas tank

Seat specialist Le Pera has spent 44 years keeping its seat designs at the cutting edge of motorcycle design and tastes as the market has evolved, and have been adept at responding to the varying demands that riders make of the comfort they expect from their motorcycle seats.
The company is offering a choice of seat design options through Drag Specialties for ‘08-’18 FLHT, FLHR, FLHX and FLTR models with the popular Arlen Ness stainless steel 70-700 winged stretched gas tank.


The ‘Silhouette’ full length has a clean, stylized flow and features Le Pera’s sculptured, one-piece molded foam foundation and premium-grade pleated-stitch vinyl cover. The ‘Silhouette’ has a 12” wide area for the driver, 8” for the passenger.


The Le Pera ‘Sorrento’ combines ‘Silhouette’ styling with the comfort of the ‘Maverick’. The lower profile gives a flowing appearance; the driver seat area is 13” with 11-1/2” for the passenger.
Finally, the Le Pera ‘Villain’ is “designed to get attention and completely change the look of the bike.” Driver’s area is 10.5” wide with approximately 4.5” of back support; passenger portion is 7.25” wide.


Still handcrafting all their seats at their North Hollywood, California headquarters after nearly 45 years as the market’s design leader, all Le Pera seats feature a powder-coated steel base plate, a specially poured, high density “Marathon” molded foam foundation and double-stitched, handcrafted cover with bonded polyester thread for durability.



Stealth Series “Black-on-Black” cables from Barnett

The latest addition to Barnett’s market-leading control cables program, these black-on-black “Stealth Series” cables feature a black vinyl casing with black chrome elbows and hardware for that “Stealth” look.
Stainless steel wire rope is used with a nylon inner liner on the throttle cables, and all clutch cables come as standard with Barnett’s exclusive high efficiency inner wire - which reduces lever effort, provides a super smooth cable action and extends cable life.
Available for all 1987 and later type Harley-Davidson cables and all 1999 and later Victory models, genuine Barnett cables have been made in the USA since 1948.


Brass Balls Cycles

Piston-Helmet design derby covers

Brass Balls Cycles’ new Piston-Helmet design derby covers are described as a “cool and easy custom performance upgrade” that replaces the heavy stock derby cover with a lightweight, precision- machined billet aluminum derby cover featuring our Piston-Helmet logo.” 

Precision-machined from aircraft grade 6061-T6 billet aluminum, they are black anodized with a contrast-cut machined design, offering multiple fitment options for 2000-2017 Twin Cams and 1996-2004 and 2004 –2018 Sportsters.
Also seen here for all H-D models, Brass Balls’ gold anodized MX style footpegs “have great grip, style and functionality.”  Precision-machined from aircraft grade 6061-T6 billet aluminum with contrast-cut on the perimeter holes, they are a direct replacement for stock pegs.

Lightweight and strong, they include two H-D adjustable chrome plated steel male clevis and two socket head cap bolts. The outermost edge is tapered underside for optimized lean angle and they measure 3.5” L x 2.5” W x 1” H.
Finally, Brass Balls’ carbon fiber inlay top clamps, in natural brushed or black anodized, “are another part in our inlay series. Coming soon are carbon inlay for our grips and master cylinder covers, and more.”

Precision-machined from aircraft grade 6061-T6 billet aluminum, real carbon fiber is inlaid by hand into each part. They are a direct replacement for stock top clamps and “with a clean, aggressive look” for ‘74-later XL, FX, FXR, FX Dyna and FX Softail models with 1.0” diameter handlebars.
Brass Balls products are available to dealers through Biker’s Choice or direct from Brass Balls.


Rick’s Motorcycles

“Love me Fender”

Baden-Baden, Germany based Rick’s Motorcycles has a custom pedigree going back two decades, is one of Germany’s best known custom wheel manufacturers and internationally recognized for its rear end conversions, having been a major player in the single-sided swingarm and fat rear end phenomena of the late 1990s.

These new steel fenders for 2018 Softails are one of the results from a design and development blitz as Rick’s wrapped their arms around the new and distinctive opportunities offered by Harley’s new generation of Milwaukee-Eight Softails.
They are available as bolt-on rear fender kits for Fat Boy and Breakout models in a choice of 8” for the original rim with 240 tires, 8” with original rim with 260 Metzeler tires and in 9” for 260 Metzelers. The complete kits come with seat base plate, tank cover and mounting kit.

Fenders and kits are also available for the 2018 Softail Slim, Heritage and Deluxe for rims up to 6” and 200 size tires. A matching seat base plate is available as an option. For all new Softails, new and “shapely” front fenders have been designed. For the Fat Boy a steel fender with a massive Bobber look perfectly hugs the 160/60 18”.

For Slim, Heritage and Deluxe a short, “Old School” style steel fender “follows the curves of the 16” Metzeler 130/90, and our front fender for the Breakout is matched to the contours of the OEM Michelin 130/60 21”, with the Metzeler 120/70 with 21” also fitting perfectly.”
All Rick’s front fenders are formed from 2.5 mm steel sheeting and described as being “extremely resistant to twisting or distorting and suitable for further processing.”


Thrashin Supply

High, mid and low bend stock mount bars

Luke Leatherman and Lance Coury’s Thrashin Supply is a business venture specializing in Dyna/FXR parts and accessories and MX/Freestyle derived products aimed at cross-over riders whose style mixes “platform passion with urban and extreme.”

Leatherman needs no introduction as the founder of Feuling Parts, and Coury is a former MX Freestyle rider (an X-Games gold medal winner no less), and the new business’ fast growing product lines include exhausts, hard parts, apparel, gloves and bags.
Seen here are new American made 1” handlebar designs with high, mid and low bends that fit stock H-D bar mounts and controls. Drilled, dimpled and slotted for internal wiring (late model bikes require removal of wires from plug-ins), they are knurled for maximum clamp grip.
Fly-by-wire key holes allow newer style bike fitment; cable throttle bike owners will want to purchase the right-side bar end adapter or cut left-side bars for equal length sides. Available in chrome or black powder-coat with laser-etched ‘Thrashin’ logo.



Adjustable floorboards

The unique profile of these adjustable boards from GMA provides plenty of room and comfort for rider and passenger. Featuring a non-skid rubber cushioning insert, each board is CNC-machined from a solid block of 6061 billet aluminum, adjusted side to side and finished in durable high-luster chrome or black anodized;
Belt Drives Ltd., USA,

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Distributor dealer shows

Distributor dealer shows get season off to a positive start

In one of the busiest domestic U.S. show weekends in living memory, the two primary distributor dealer shows attracted encouraging crowds, with vendors, reps and shop owners looking forward to a spring selling season that, at the very least, looks set to be an improvement on 2017.

The vibe was positive at the Biker’s Choice/Tucker Rocky Dealer and Brand Expo at Frisco, Texas, on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February. Much of the uncertainty triggered by the Motorsport Aftermarket Group’s November Chapter 11 Reorganization Filing process appears to be largely behind them. Sales & Marketing VP Kenan Ikels’ focus is very much on the improving inventory, fill rates and timeliness of deliveries he says are being achieved, and the “Commerce, Content and Community” values with which the company wants to endow the event.

Biker’s Choice/Tucker Rocky Dealer and Brand Expo at Frisco, Texas, on 8-9 February

The majority of vendors who were exhibiting there were looking forward rather than backwards and “modest growth” was the outlook, especially among the hard parts, accessory, performance, tuning and service community.
Over 115 third party exhibitors were joined by TR/BC in-house brand programs and other Group exhibitors such as Progressive Suspension, Vance & Hines, Burly Brand, Performance Machine, RSD, Mustang and Kuryakyn to populate a show of some 140 exhibit booths in total with an increased dealer attendance that was clearly there to do business – early reports from some of the sales reps that AMD Magazine spoke with suggest improved shop orders over their February 2017 event.

At the weekend (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February) the focus turned to Indianapolis where LeMans Corporation, the world’s largest motorcycle parts, accessory and apparel distributor, filled one of the primary exhibit halls of the downtown Indianapolis Convention Center with around 400 third party vendor and house brand exhibit booths.
Having been to many Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties dealer events of various kinds in various U.S. locations down the years, there’s no doubt that, despite some Sunday weather issues, the dealer attendance at this year’s “Indy” was the largest the market leader had ever pulled, and a significant increase on the perfectly respectable attendance they attracted to their Indianapolis event last year.

LeMans NVP Product Expo at Indianapolis on 10-11 February

Optimism and positivity about the season ahead was also the predominant feeling among vendors and sales reps at their show too, with a slew of new product initiatives and programs for dealers to engage with as Drag Specialties kicked off their 50th anniversary in style. The likes of Custom Dynamics, Legend Suspension, AIM Corp., Arlen Ness, Spyke, Hawg Halters, Feuling, James Gaskets, LA Choppers, Biltwell and others all had busy winters as R&D investments matured.
Look for full reports on both shows in upcoming AMD Magazine print, digital and AMDesign newsletter editions.
For the record? The weekend also saw ‘The One Show’ being staged at Portland, Oregon; the latest IMS/J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Builder Show at Chicago; and the Easyriders Bike Show at Columbus, Ohio.
Congratulations to those hardcore hard workers who managed to represent themselves at all five events … yes, looking at you “Family Ness”! Respect!!